Public Program- Karen Ordahl Kupperman - CANCELED

Thursday, May 21, 2020 - 7:00pm

“Pocahontas and the English Boys”
by Karen Ordahl Kupperman

How do you cope with a strange environment and unknown people whose culture you do not understand but on whom you are completely dependent? This is the situation that faced Jamestown’s leaders. The Chesapeake Algonquians needed to understand the newcomers and their goals and capabilities. In this talk based on her new book, Pocahontas and the English Boys: Caught Between Cultures in Early Virginia (2019), Karen Ordahl Kupperman explores how both sides deployed kids to learn the language and culture of the other. As the youths and their understanding of each sides’ issues matured, it became harder and harder for them to act as simple intermediaries. When hostilities loomed, they were caught in the middle, and leaders on both sides came to doubt their loyalty with disastrous consequences.

Karen Ordahl Kupperman is Silver Professor of History Emerita at New York University. Her book Pocahontas and the English Boys: Caught Between Cultures in Early Virginia was published by New York University Press in January 2019, along with a new edition of Henry Spelman's Relation of Virginia from the original manuscript. She is the author of The Jamestown Project (2007) and The Atlantic in World History (2012). Among her awards are the American Historical Association (AHA) Prize in Atlantic History and the AHA's Beveridge Prize for the best book in American history.

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